Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The unpacking is complete!

Everything is pretty much the way it's going to be so now I can take pictures of the whole rooms and give you all a better feel of the place. This first picture is looking down from the girls loft room.

Apparently people actually do use the fireplace here.. not sure exactly why.. but perhaps I'll burn paper in it for the ambiance for some holiday..

Now, from inside the master bedroom/craft room (sort of already had a picture up like this one..)
And for my mom's benefit ... the top of the hamper is actually an ironing board with hinges and the laundry "baskets" pull out individually so that I can carry them downstairs.. so much easier than a bulky basket on my hip. I hand the empty baskets on the door nob to the doors in front of the washer and dryer while I'm washing the loads so I can just fill the thing again when the load is done and take it upstairs. Makes laundry times SO much nicer because there aren't clothes everywhere like there were before. Lily likes to help put her clothes in the right places too. Hmm.. looks like the pink load is just about ready to be washed. ;]
Turn a bit to the right and you'll see the door to the hall/stairs and the bathroom...
We still don't have a bed frame which is only a problem because we are in a small space and it would be nice to put some blankets under the bed. I also have a bunch of my "small" clothes in the closet that I can't fit right now and it would be nice to have those put more away till I'll need them again. The top green tub has all my crazy quilt fabric but the bottom one just has blankets and sheets in it.
Big window and sewing area. I don't have a normal sized chair at the moment so the ball is the only option. It works okay though for now. :]
Last picture was taken from outside the masterbedroom door.. now turn a bit to the left and you see into the bathroom.. Lily helped me decide where to put the kitty wall hanging. (She really likes that one.. I made it a super long time ago...)
Turn to the left some more and you can see into the girls room, but I already took good pictures of that so won't add any more here. THOUGH I just got to thinking yesterday that I should have put Lily's bed on a different wall... this is what always happens as a homemaker. Constantly looking for ways to make things more efficient and easier to maintain. Check out the organizing pro for some great ideas! I went through her seven week course and it was really helpful in every area of my homemaking. I'm actually pretty good at organizing things and logically figuring out where things need to be to make it all the most convenient and so forth, but I'm TERRIBLE at maintaining it. So.. yeah.. I've been working on my systems and the every day stuff of maintaining because "it's easier to live organized than to live in disorder." Yes.. it actually is... it's not about having a "perfect home" ooooh no.. it's about making my days run smoothly and easily and I've got to get a handle of that NOW before the next one comes and while I'm not having to be too intense with the homeschooling too.
Turn a bit more to the left and you can see the family pictures in the hall/stairs. (Don't ask how I got that quilted wall hanging up... it was hard.)

Turn a bit more to the left (and back up into the bathroom...) and you can see the top of the stairs and how Lily decorated Milo's scratching post area. You'd think the scratching post would be in the way, but it's not at all! Super handy place to put it since we have to be creative in a small place. (I actually like living in small spaces because it's less to clean! I mean, how handy is it that I can vacuum a whole area without having to unplug the vacuum and move it? Of course, with the upstairs I have to plug it into a different place, but still... much less to clean. :]
Oh, and while I'm in the bathroom I have to take a picture of this little fairy so my Mom can see! THIS fairy was one of the decorations at my wedding! So, not only am I STILL using the fake grapevine garlands to decorate and other things from my wedding, this little figurine matches PERFECTLY in my lady bug bathroom.. because she's holding a ladybug! How great is that?! I was so excited when I found it in my memory trunk.
Oh, and the downstairs bathroom from a distance so you can see it all together a little bit.. notice the grapevines were from my wedding (also, in the last post you can see a little purple topiary tree in this bathroom and THAT was a decoration from my wedding as well.)
And now the kitchen! Still don't have nice counter-top containers for my flours and sugar and stuff... the containers don't match (notice in the corner over there), but maybe for Christmas I'll get something like that... I wonder if I can find green ones with red berries. Or maybe just red ones.. is that weird that I keep decorating with light green and bright red? but.. Red is so perky. :]
And the left side of the kitchen.. notice the far door.. that's the pantry area. The kitchen is small, but I actually really like the size because I don't have to walk very far to put things away and wash dishes and so forth. The only problem is that I can't open the fridge when the dishwasher is open.. not a huge hurdle to get over though.
In the bottom door pantry I keep the garbage... sort of weird I know, but there's no room anywhere else in the narrow kitchen. It sometimes smells weird.. not sure if it's because I'm overly sensitive to smells right now or if it really does smell bad.. but I put a dryer sheet in there and suddenly it's fresh as a daisy. ;]
My piano, a view of the stair's railing, and the tiny door that leads to the storage under the stairs and the water heater (I keep my vacuum in that little closet.. very handy.) Oh, and the last box, which I didn't notice until just now... Our christmas tree came in that box and was the last box that I unpacked.. more about that later.

Turn to the right a bit more and see the bookshelves that my big brother put together for me!!! He also mentioned when he was here that he thought the red roses (that Youssef had given to me when I first came and were in the spot where those red flowers are now) looked really nice with the black shelves. SO, when I was in the dollar store I saw those red poppy flowers and got them for this arrangement (I had all the other silk flowers and leaves and so forth already, but the flowers that were in there before were white orchids and I was tired of it.) I think it works pretty well with the red poppies too because of the red typewriter on the top shelf. I LOVE that typewriter for some reason... got it when I was 12 or something at a garage sale, but it needs to be high up so the girls to mess with it (I let them play with it on occasion) and I didn't want it in storage anymore. The organizing pro says that if you aren't going to display it than get rid of it! Very true. Why do we hold onto stuff if we don't use it or display it? I'm pretty sure I could get rid of even MORE stuff if I tried, seriously.. why do we Americans hold onto so much stuff?
Looking up at the high windows (I'm thinking of doing another artwork for above the sliding doors... a horizontal thin one.. maybe of a mountainous landscape.) :] Oh, and you might notice the pine tree peaking a bit on the left of the window out on the balcony....
THIS is our new Christmas tree!!! I heard how expensive it was to buy a christmas tree down here and people said it would be better to get a fake one. Youssef has been wanting a fake one for a long time anyway, but I don't like the overly full trees where you lay the ornaments on them.. I want the ornaments to hang.. perhaps I'm weird that way. Oh, AND I'm in a small space and didn't want the tree to wide. So, an "alpine tree" was the best answer! As it turned out I found one on ebay with a real wood trunk for $66 with shipping... note: all the fake Christmas trees in stores that I liked were closer to $300.. and I didn't even like them as well as this one! Lily had started making a beaded garland a while back and when we put it on the tree she wanted to make some more rings for it (with pipe cleaner and beads.)
Back in the house... not sure if I mentioned this before, but I wanted the pictures that are framed above the fireplace to match my art and didn't want to buy new frames for them so I used electrical tape! The electrical tape worked perfectly on the large metal frame and smaller wood frames and you can hardly tell what I did, but it matches the nice art frames now. ;]
Our couch/spare bed. :]

The girls are over at their little table beading for the Christmas tree. The screen there is pretty much the only real splurge that I did on the house. I've always wanted one and it hides the file cabinet from the other side really well. It also makes a nice room divider for the dinning and living room. Subtle yet effective. Plus, the litter box is behind the couch (only place we could think of to put it so it would be out of the way!) and it give Milo some privacy.. har har.. ;]
Notice? Not only can he go farther behind the couch to his letter box, but he can hide behind the screen to rest.
Right, so, turn more to the right and you see up the stairs and the front door is straight back beyond the piano
A close up of the girls doing the beading. Renna lost interest pretty quickly in the beading, but she switched to making Christmas cards! At this rate, we might even have enough cards to mail to people come Christmas. :]
Some favorite things! Going to the pool!
Renna is getting really good at swimming. Her little floater gives her just enough support so that she can do a pretty mean doggy paddle wherever she wants to go in the little pool.
Lily's getting super good at swimming too and has advanced to floating on her back a bit and doing more of a frog stroke rather than just the doggy paddle.
Swimming with the daddy. :] This was the first time I didn't swim with them and it worked out just find because the girls are good enough now that sitting on the edge of the pool is a sufficient help. I got a swim noodle at the dollar store the other day and took the girls out by myself and Renna held onto the noodle (with me holding the other end) and doggy paddled around. I could tow her back when she was getting tired or turned the wrong way.
This was the other week when the girls were painting. Lily got a window ornament from the dollar store as her project and did a pretty good job of painting it!
A little mermaid as you can see.. now graces the sliding doors to the balcony.
Not sure if you can see it in this picture, but I got a fence to go across the railing. I wired it down in many places and now Milo can go out there without any worries and the girls have been playing out there more (Renna could get her head through the rails and it was freaking me out that she might fall through!)
I planted some flowers and some seeds too, but I'm not sure how the seeds will do since it doesn't get much sun during the day.. hadn't paid enough attention to that before I got the seeds. *blah* Oh well... I should probably read some more about the plants that I get too to make sure they'll work with the amount of light that I have here.

The girls love to watch the squirrels outside and I've seen at least 5 blue jays here just in the not even three weeks that we've been here. They are so beautiful!

Thursday, October 07, 2010


The downstairs bathroom is hard to photograph because it's so tiny.. so I took a lot of pictures. It took me a few hours to finish it the way I wanted to.
Looking down at the sink.... and then look up above the mirror and tada! Loveliness... I had most of this stuff.. just bought a new soap pump for 6 bucks on sale to complete the look... There's a trash can with a pop-up lid that is on my "wish list" that matches the soap pump perfectly. :]
What took so long to do was clean my collection of sand and put that little shelf up. I hot glued the cording stuff along the edge because I was tired of being worried that the bottles would slip off (and tired of taping some or something.. the taping is silly because they have where they are from on the bottom of the bottles.. so if they are attached down than no one can see where they came from.)
Youssef took me grocery shopping this evening and I got a new kleenex box and potty seat for Renna (who will be learning in a month or so!) and it's Tinkerbell and matches my purple theme! How perfect is that? Plus.. I found a little purple stool for her as well (it's shaped like a hippo, but you can't tell..)
The kitchen is all done now! It's also pretty tiny, but I kind of enjoy not having to move very far to put something away.. so the size doesn't bother me at all. I like the microwave.. I've never had one and have to make so many things from scratch that it's nice to have something quick. The kitchen really wasn't made for someone that does real cooking.. while the microwave is super nice and new the stove is a little tricky.. from what I can tell the stove top has a high setting and a warm... it's REALLY hard to find those in between places! Barely move the nob and it will stop boiling altogether and then turn it up a bit and it boils over. But.. I'll get used to it. ;] The fridge is really large and it has a nice pantry area. When I was organizing the kitchen I was getting down to the final stuff to put away and running out of room to put the stuff and then realized that I'd completely forgotten about two large drawers.. suddenly I had more than enough room... and that included a whole cupboard full of my new fancy glasses from the dollar store. :] I forgot to take a picture of them.. they look like martini glasses but the stems are green and a little waved. Goes good with my new dishes. I'm really liking this plan to spend less on moving stuff and use what we saved to get new stuff to replace the stuff I got rid of to move us down. :]
I can't seem to lose my thrifty/ingenuity bent though as I look for things and get stuff... The shelves pictured below were a 15 dollar purchase from Target and I love how they look.. they are super versatile as well. I looked at a lot of end table type things and priced stuff out and perhaps with a LOT of shopping (and wasted gas money driving everywhere) I could have found something better for the same price? Well... I liked this option. Anyway, Youssef wanted drawers for his and I *thought* the drawers they had with the cube-things would fit into the shelves.. nope.. they were a few inches too tall for these. SO! I cut them down and then seam ripped the casing on the part that I cut off and hot glued it onto the new edge. Now they fit perfectly. :]
Loving the "his and her" closets as well.. and the new laundry organizer. I left all my laundry baskets behind and this is so much nicer and space efficient.
My "dresser" pictured below... again.. using the shelve idea because it's so versatile and this one actually fit the drawer things perfectly. I actually like having some spaces for just shelves and then some with drawers. I can organize it better for some reason... I put the hook up for my robe and jammies and the door on the right is the bathroom upstairs and the door on the left goes into the hall and then into the girls room... the stairs are to the left of the left door.
The stairs with Milo's scratching post and toy and teddy bear that Renna keeps swiping. ;] I got rid of my two large teddy bears for the move (we downsized a lot and got rid of a LOT) and this little bear is just like the large one that Milo used to love.
I took this picture standing a few steps up on the stairs. I got a few flowers and plants to put in one of my outside pots... haven't had time to plant them yet, but they are waiting... I also found some veggie seeds to plant out there too.. lettuce and carrots and things that *should* be okay for a while.. I'll try it anyway. :]
Oh, and the upstairs bathroom... I already posted some pictures of it, but I added a few things.
I'm going with the whole ladybug theme and got these cute little showercurtain hooks. The girls had so much fun helping me put them up and exclaiming about them the whole time.

Again with the ingenuity thing... I kept envisioning a soap pump that was green with ladybugs.. do you think I could find one like that ANYWHERE on the internet? It doesn't exist.. until now. I bought a green soap pump at Target and got some scrapbooking stickers for a dollar and put them on just so. TADA! Exactly what I was wanting.
The girls room upstairs is pretty tiny and has a half wall which makes noise at sleepy times a bit of a problem, BUT it's kind of nice to be able to hear them really well wherever I am in the house. They aren't used to being together ALL the time and we've had some issues to deal with.. but it's good to deal with them now.
Renna has a new little toddler bed and netting/canopy that I'd had for a while and hadn't used in a long time. The girls have fun in their "tents" ... the kitty quilt was made by my grandma for Lily and it just matched so well with the quilt that Lily picked for her bed that I had to use it. Renna LOVES it too.. and her new bed in general. She can't go to sleep without her panda pillow pet (which is why it's not on her bed.. she was sleeping in my room with it when I took these pictures.)
I took this next picture standing in the closet so that you could see the whole room. Lily put up all her art already and arranged her toys. I got under-the-bed-organizers for their clothes since there wasn't room for a dresser. The butterfly curtains on Lily's bed close.. I just put them up with wire so they are super easy to open and close.. she likes them closed the best... they make me a little claustrophobic like that since the room is already so small.
Okay, now.. speaking of ingenuity again. You know how you never actually RUN OUT of the fingernail polish before it goes all gummy? Well.. there ARE other uses for fingernail polish.. let me give an example.
I had this red lamp shade that I loved and the lamp that I used to have for it broke... well.. I got a cheap WHITE lamp at target (without a shade) and used all those colors above (of fingernail polish) to paint it!
Lily had tons of fun helping me. It was super easy and fun to do. If you want to try this some time just start with the colors that are the most opaque and make dashes and blots wherever.. leaving some white space in between.. move onto the next color and the next always filling in the white spaces a bit more. Use the translucent polishes at the end and blot over wherever and give it that "finished" look. It has a cool texture now as well as a neat look. :]

Really, so much better than just plain white. ;]

I'll post more pictures when the other areas of the place are ready. :}